This chapter provides the tactical standing operating procedures for infantry platoons and squads. The procedures apply unless a leader makes a decision to deviate from them based on the factors of METT-T. In such a case, the exception applies only to the particular situation for which the leader made the decision.




Appendix 1. Duties and Responsibilities

Appendix 2. Communication

Appendix 3. Estimate of the Situation

Appendix 4. Orders and Reports

Appendix 5. Movement


Appendix 1. Assembly Area Procedures










Task organizations may vary according to METT-T. The following items are considered before task organizing for a particular mission.

1. MAIN EFFORT. The platoon leader designates the main effort. He sufficiently weighs the main effort for each mission (for example, machine guns and antiarmor weapons) to ensure success.

2. SUPPORTING EFFORT. The platoon leader also designates supporting efforts that will aid in the accomplishment of the mission.

3. PLATOON HEADQUARTERS. The platoon headquarters normally consists of the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, platoon RATELO, forward observer and his RATELO, platoon aidman, two machine gun teams, and any other elements that may be attached, under operational control, or in a supporting role.


a. Engineers. Engineers normally have already been assigned a priority of work by the company commander. The platoon leader will not dictate the employment or further suballocate or task organize any supporting engineer elements. He is responsible for coordinating with all engineers operating in his area to ensure the commander’s priorities are being adhered to. He must also ensure that engineer assets are not wasted and he must also provide guides to and from his platoon area. The platoon leader may be required to provide labor support and or security to assist the engineers.

b. Stinger Teams. Stinger teams are usually in direct support of the company during the defense and under OPCON during the offense. The platoon leader does not change the priority of air defense protection established by the commander. The Stinger leader positions the Stingers where they can best provide support. The infantry platoon will frequently need to provide security for the Stinger team.

c. Antiarmor Sections. The antiarmor section’s primary mission is to destroy armor vehicles. The platoon leader does not change the priority of antiarmor engagements established by the commander. He locates the section where it can best support the mission. The infantry platoon will frequently be required to provide security for the antiarmor section.

d. GSR, IPW, and CI Teams. Often collocated with the infantry platoon. These elements are usually in direct support to the battalion The platoon leader coordinates with these teams to ensure a mutual understanding of the mission exists.




1. COMMAND. Platoon leaders are responsible for effectively using the platoon’s resources and for employing, organizing, and directing the platoon during combat operations. Effective command allows subordinate leaders to exercise their initiative, take risks, and seize opportunities during the mission.

a. Succession of Command. During combat, any member of the platoon may be required to assume command. Frequently, the platoon FO or RATELO may need to continue operations and direct the operation until the chain of command can be reestablished. Under normal conditions, the platoon succession of command will be–

b. Assumption of Command. When it is necessary for a new leader to assume command of the platoon, if and when the situations allows it, he will accomplish the following tasks:

(1) Inform higher headquarters of the change.

(2) Reestablish the platoon chain of command and ensure all subordinates are made aware of changes.

(3) Check the platoon’s security and the emplacement of key weapons.

(4) Check the platoon’s equipment and personnel status.

(5) Pinpoint the platoon’s location.

(6) Assess the platoon’s ability to continue the mission.

(7) Inform higher command of assessment.

(8) Continue the mission.

2. CONTROL. The challenge to the leader is to use the minimal amount of control required to synchronize the operation, while still allowing decentralized decision making.

3. COORDINATION. Adjacent unit coordination is accomplished from left to right and from front to rear. Adjacent unit coordination is done face to face when possible. The following information is exchanged by adjacent units:












1. PLATOON LEADER. The platoon leader is responsible for accomplishing the platoon’s mission. He is responsible for positioning and employing all assigned and attached crew-served weapons. He must also know how to employ supporting weapons.

a. He leads the platoon in support of company and battalion missions.

b. He informs his commander of his actions at all times.

c. He plans missions with the help of the platoon sergeant, squad leaders, and other key personnel.

d. He stays abreast of the situation and goes where he is needed to supervise, issue FRAGOs, and accomplish the mission.

e. He requests support for the platoon from the company commander to perform its mission.

f. He directs the platoon sergeant in planning and coordinating the platoon’s CSS effort.

g. During planning, he receives on-hand status reports from the platoon sergeant and squad leaders.

h. He reviews platoon requirements based on the tactical plan.

i. He develops the casualty evacuation plan.

j. During execution, he checks the work of the platoon sergeant and the squad leaders.

k. He ensures the soldier’s load is reasonable.

2. PLATOON SERGEANT. The platoon sergeant is the senior NCO in the platoon and second in command.

a. He supervises the logistics, administration, and maintenance activities of the platoon.

b. He organizes and controls the platoon alternate CP.

c. He trains the crews and employs the platoon’s machine guns IAW the platoon leader’s orders.

d. He receives the squad leaders’ requests for rations, water, and ammunition. He works with the company XO and first sergeant to request resupply. He also directs the routing of supplies and mail.

e. He maintains platoon strength information, consolidates and forwards the platoon’s casualty reports. ( DA Forms 1155 and 1156 ) and receives replacements.

f. He monitors the morale, discipline, and health of platoon members.

g. He commands task-organized elements in the platoon during tactical operations. This can include, but is not limited to, quartering parties, security forces in withdrawals, support elements in raids or attacks, and security patrols.

h. He coordinates and supervises company directed platoon resupply operations.

i. He ensures that ammunition and equipment are evenly distributed. (This is a critical task during consolidation and reorganization.)

j. He ensures that the casualty evacuation plan is complete and executed properly by directing the platoon’s aidman, and aid and litter teams.

3. SQUAD LEADER. The squad leader is responsible for the squad.

a. He controls the maneuver of his squad and its rate and distribution of fire.

b. He exercises his command through the fire team leaders.

c. He manages the logistical and administrative needs of his squad. He requests and issues ammunition, water, rations, and special equipment.

d. He maintains accountability of his soldiers and equipment.

e. He completes casualty feeder reports and reviews the casualty reports completed by squad members.

f. He supervises the maintenance of the squad’s weapons and equipment.

g. He conducts inspections of his soldiers, their weapons and their equipment.

h. He keeps the platoon sergeant and platoon leader informed on his squad’s supply status and equipment readiness.

i. He ensures that supplies and equipment are internally cross-leveled.






1. GENERAL. The three primary means of communication available to the infantry platoon are radio, wire, and messenger. Normally, the platoon uses one or all of these during an operation. Additionally, the platoon leader plans an alternate means of communication in case the primary means fails.

a. Radio. Radio is the least secure means of communication. Radio is susceptible to interception and jamming. Proper radio procedures must be used to reduce the enemy’s opportunity to hamper radio communications.

(1) Radio procedures:

(a) Change frequencies and call signs IAW unit SOI.

(b) Use varied transmission schedules and lengths.

(c) Use established formats to expedite transmissions such as SALUTE.

(d) Encode messages or use secure voice.

(e) Use brevity codes when possible.

(2) Actions if jamming is suspected:

(a) Continue to operate. (Do not let the enemy know that he is having any affect on communications.)

(b) Disconnect the antenna. If interference stops, communications are probably being jammed.

(c) Switch to highest power.

(d) Relocate the radio. Terrain may mask the enemy’s jamming signal.

(e) Use a directional antenna.

(f) Turn the squelch off.

(3) Radio nets: The platoon must monitor and operate on several radio nets. These include–

(a) Company command net. The platoon leader will continuously monitor the company command net.

(b) Platoon net. The platoon headquarters controls the platoon net. The platoon net is be continuously monitored by all elements of the platoon.

(c) Fire support net. The fire support net is controlled by the battalion FSO and is monitored by the platoon’s FO.

b. Wire. Wire is more secure than radio and is effected less by weather and terrain. When possible, the platoon uses wire in lieu of radio. When the tactical situation permits, the platoon establishes a wire net or “hot loop.” This is accomplished as follows:

(1) Each element is responsible for running wire to the platoon headquarters.

(2) Each element of the platoon is responsible for running wire to the element on its left.

(3) Each element is responsible for running wire to their OP.

(4) Once established, each element is responsible for the maintenance of the wire it laid. Additionally, each element continuously monitors the wire net.

(5) When breaking down the wire net, each element is responsible for recovering its wire.

(6) The platoon headquarters maintains overall control of the wire net.

c. Messenger. Messenger is the most secure means of communications. Messengers should vary their routes and schedules. Platoon leaders weigh the risk associated with using messengers. Although secure, messengers are the slowest form of communication.


a. Code Words. Code words are used for a multitude of reasons. Code words are established to speed up communications, add a degree of security, and help with command and control. Code words are usually established during tactical operations for (but not limited to) objectives, phase lines, check points, link ups, and so forth.

b. Signals. Signals can be used in many forms on any operation. Signals are usually either audio or visual. The key to the use of signals is ensuring everyone is aware of the signal and its meaning, (See FM 21-60.)







a. Mission and intent of commander two levels up.

b. Mission and intent of immediate commander.

c. Assigned tasks (specified and implied).

d. Constraints and limitations.

e. Mission-essential tasks.

f. Restated mission.

g. Tentative time schedule.


a. Terrain and weather.

(1) Terrain - OCOKA.

(2) Weather - visibility, mobility, survivability.

b. Enemy situation and most probable courses of action.

(1) Composition.

(2) Disposition.

(3) Recent activities.

(4) Capabilities.

(5) Weaknesses.

(6) Most probable course of action (enemy use of METT-T).

c. Friendly Situation.

(1) Troops available.

(2) Equipment status.

(3) Time available.

d. Friendly Courses of Action. (Develop at a minimum two courses of action.)


a. Significant factors.

b. Wargame.









a. Orders Group.

(1) Company orders. As a minimum, the platoon leader, platoon FO, and attachments leaders will attend company orders.

(2) Platoon orders. As a minimum, the following individuals will attend platoon orders:

b. Orders Formats.

(1) Warning order. A warning order has no specific format. One technique is to use the five-paragraph operation order format. The leader issues the warning order with all the information he has available at the time.

(2) Operation order. The operation order is normally issued orally. The leader uses notes that follow the five-paragraph format.

(3) Fragmentary order. The format for a FRAGO is that portion of the current OPORD that has changed. If significant changes have occurred since the last OPORD, a new OPORD should be prepared.

c. Reports. The following reports are used.

(1) _SALUTE_--Size, Activity, Location, Unit/uniform, Time, Equipment.

(2) _SITREP_--(situation report) given IAW OPORD.

(3) _ACE_--(ammunition, casualty, equipment) normally, squad leaders give ACE reports to the platoon sergeant after contact with the enemy.

(4) _Logistics_--team leaders and squad leaders report twice daily up the chain of command.

(5) _Sensitive item_--status reported by team leaders and squad leaders up the chain of command twice daily.

(6) _Personnel status_--team leaders and squad leaders report twice daily. Normally, reports are given at stand-to and before nightfall.

(7) _NBC 1 and NBC 4_--whoever recognizes an NBC attack will report on the platoon net and preface the message with FLASH-FLASH-FLASH. NBC 1 and 4 reports are sent to the company CP and then forwarded to battalion.







a. Formation. Leaders choose the formation based on their analysis of METT-T and likelihood of enemy contact.

(1) Fire team formations. All soldiers in the team must be able to see their leader.

(a) Wedge. This is the basic fire team formation; it will be used unless modified because of terrain, dense vegetation, terrain or mission.

(b) File. Used in close terrain, dense vegetation, limited visibility.

(2) Squad formations. Squad formations describe the relationships between fire teams in the squad.

(a) Column. Primary squad formation and will be used unless METT-T dictates otherwise.

(b) Line. Used when maximum fire power is needed (to the front.

(c) File. Used in close terrain, dense vegetation, or limited visibility.

(3) Platoon formations. METT-T will determine where crew-served weapons move in the formation. They normally move with the platoon leader so he can quickly establish a base of fire.

(a) Column. Primary platoon formation–used unless METT-T dictates otherwise.

(b) Platoon line, squads on line. Used when the platoon leader wants all soldiers on line for maximum firepower forward. Used when the enemy situation is known.

(c) Platoon line, squads in column. Used when the platoon leader dots not want everyone forward, but wants to be prepared for contact such as near the objective.

(d) Platoon Vee. Used when enemy situation is vague, but contact is expected to the front.

(e) Platoon wedge. Used when enemy situation is vague and contact is not expected.

(f) Platoon file. Used when visibility is poor due to terrain or light.

b. Movement Techniques. Leaders choose a movement technique based on their mission analysis of METT-T and likelihood of enemy contact.

(1) Traveling. Used when contact is not likely and speed is important.

(2) Traveling overwatch. Used when contact is possible but speed is important.

(3) Bounding overwatch. Used when contact is likely or imminent and speed is not important.

c. Foot Marches. When moving along a road in a relatively secure area, the platoon will move with one tile on each side of the road. Fire teams are not split up. There will be 3 to 5 meters between soldiers and 25 to 50 meters between platoons.

(1) The normal rate of march for an 8-hour march is 4 kmph. The interval and rate of march depend on the length of the march, time allowed, likelihood of enemy contact (ground, air, artillery), terrain and weather, condition of the soldiers, and the weight of the soldiers’ load.

(2) A 15-minute rest will be conducted at the end of the first 45 minutes of a road march. During this halt, the aidman and squad leaders will check the soldiers’ feet and report the physical condition of the soldiers to the platoon leader and platoon sergeant. Thereafter, a 10-minute rest is conducted every 50 minutes.

2. ACTIONS AT HALTS. During halts, security is posted and all approaches into the platoon’s area are covered by key weapons. The platoon sergeant moves forward through the platoon, checking security as he goes, and meets the platoon leader to determine the reason for the halt.

a. During halts of 30 seconds or less, the soldiers drop to one knee and cover their assigned sector.

b. During halts longer than 30 seconds, a cigar-shaped perimeter is formed, and the soldiers assume the prone position.

3. ACTIONS ON CONTACT. On contact, the platoon executes the appropriate battle drill.

a. React to Contact.

b. Break Contact.

c. React to Ambush.




1. OFFENSE. The platoon leader receives the mission from the company commander.

a. Preparation.

(1) The platoon leader conducts a mission analysis (see operations section).

(2) The platoon leader issues a warning order.

(3) The platoon members concurrently perform readiness, maintenance, and functional checks under the supervision of their leaders. The chain of command checks weapons, night observation devices, communications equipment, NBC equipment, and any special equipment.

(4) Weapons will be test fired if the situation permits.

(5) The platoon leader makes his tentative plan.

(6) The platoon initiates movement as required–quartering party, selected elements, or the entire platoon.

(7) The platoon conducts required reconnaissance–determines location, strength, disposition, and activity of the enemy, and accurate in formation on the terrain (OCOKA).

(8) Based on METT-T considerations, intelligence from the reconnaissance, and other sources, the platoon leader completes the plan. If time is available, he always gives a briefback to the commander before issuing the order.

(9) The platoon leader issues his order to his subordinates providing them with adequate time to develop their plans, brief the soldiers, and conduct rehearsals.

(10) The PSG requests CSS assets.

(11) The platoon leader or responsible representative coordinates with higher, supporting, and adjacent units:

(12) The platoon leader supervises mission preparation. Subordinate leaders conduct briefbacks of the plan to ensure his intent is understood. Key platoon actions are rehearsed as time permits. Certain rehearsals should take place before the OPORD (wise use of time). First priority for rehearsals is actions on the objective.

(13) The platoon leader plans for sustainment of combat operations.

(a) Platoon leader, platoon sergeant, squad leaders determine ammunition requirements and other supply needs.

(b) Platoon leader issues guidance on soldier’s load and ensures loads are distributed equally. The combat load includes the fighting load and approach march load. The sustainment load includes the equipment required for sustained operations and are stored by the battalion at the BSA and brought forward as needed.

(c) Platoon leader and platoon sergeant determine the transportation needed to support the operation and request it.

(d) Platoon sergeant coordinates with the lSG, supply sergeant, and XO for support. He distributes supplies according to the plan.

(e) Platoon leader establishes and enforces a rest plan for all platoon members, particularly for key personnel.

(14) Platoon continues to conduct reconnaissance during operation.

(15) The platoon leader monitors the actions of higher, adjacent, and supporting units.

(16) The platoon leader issues orders or modifies original plan as needed.

(17) The platoon headquarters reports combat critical information to higher, adjacent, and supporting units:

b. Execution. The two types of attacks are hasty and deliberate.

(1) Hasty attack. When the platoon or squad makes unexpected contact with the enemy, the platoon or squad executes the contact drill.

(2) Deliberate attack. A planned attack against the enemy.

(a) The platoon leader organizes the platoon for the attack–assault element and support element.

(b) The platoon positions for the assault. The platoon leader, PSG, or squad leader reconnoiter the tentative support position, establish local security, ensure the position provides observation of the objective and overwatch for the assault element.

The support element moves by a covered and concealed route into the support position. The support element occupies the support position. The platoon sergeant and squad leaders assign covered and concealed positions, sectors of fire, and necessary fire control measures. The enemy positions are located. All weapons are oriented along sectors of fire toward the enemy positions.

The support element overwatches the assault element’s movement. The support element maintains continuous communications with the assault element. If possible, the support element maintains observation of the assault element and its route. The support element ensures the assault element’s route does not cross into the support positions’ sectors of fire. The support element alerts the platoon leader of any movement on the objective or change in the enemy situation.

The support element suppresses the objective with direct or indirect fires.

The platoon leader leads the assault element into the last covered and concealed position before the objective.

The assault element uses smoke, if available, to cover its movement. The assault element ensures it does not move into the support element’s sector of fire.

The platoon leader or FO calls for preparatory indirect fire on the objective.

The platoon leader ensures all elements are in position before beginning the assault.

(c) The platoon performs the assault. The platoon leader signals to lift or shift the suppressive fires of the support element. (Primary signal is FM radio; alternate signal is visual.)

The support element lift or shifts fires and continues to observe the objective.

The assault element begins to deliver suppressive fire on the objective once the support element shifts fire. The assault element assaults the objective from the flank, a gap, or a known weakness. The assault element tights through the objective using available cover and concealment, appropriate movement techniques, and appropriate battle drills.

On order, the support element moves onto the objective and clears the objective of any remaining enemy.

(d) The platoon consolidates, then reorganizes. (Many events that occur during consolidation and reorganization will be concurrent.)

c. Consolidation.

(1) The platoon occupies a hasty fighting position and prepares for counterattack.

(a) The platoon leader assigns the squad sectors of fire.

(b) The squad leaders assign positions and sectors of fire.

(c) The platoon leader positions key weapons systems.

(2) The platoon leader positions OPs to provide security and early warning.

d. Reorganization.

(1) The platoon leader reestablishes the chain of command and fills key positions:

(2) The platoon leader establishes communications with the company commander, adjacent units, and battalion FSO.

(3) Leaders redistribute ammunition and equipment.

(a) The squad leaders give the ACE report to the platoon leader.

(b) The platoon leader reports the status to higher headquarters and requests any required resupply.

(c) The PSG redistributes ammunition and equipment between the squads as necessary.

(4) The platoon evacuates casualties. The platoon handles all EPWs IAW the five S’s. The platoon evacuates all KIA.

2. DEFENSE. The platoon leader receives the operations order from the company commander.

a. Preparation of the Defense.

(1) The platoon leader performs a mission analysis and issues a warning order to the platoon.

(2) Platoon members begin performing readiness, maintenance, and functions checks on all assigned weapons and equipment.

(3) The platoon leader makes an estimate of the situation and a tentative plan.

(4) The platoon leader and squad leaders conduct a leader’s reconnaissance. They check for past or present enemy activity. They determine the enemy’s most probable course of action. They confirm or adjust the tentative plan.

(5) The platoon sergeant does an initial inspection of all the platoon’s weapons and assigned equipment.

(6) The platoon leader completes the plan and issues the platoon operations order.

(7) The platoon sergeant ensures the platoon has a basic load of Class I, IV, V, and VIII.

(8) The platoon sergeant requests additional Class I, IV, V, and VIII to be brought forward to the platoon battle position.

(9) All platoon members camouflage themselves and their equipment.

(10) The platoon leader conducts adjacent unit coordination.

(11) The platoon test fires all assigned weapons.

(12) The platoon leader conducts the final inspection.

(13) The platoon conducts rehearsals. The most critical tasks are rehearsed first. Movement to alternate and subsequent positions is rehearsed. When possible, a full-force rehearsal is conducted. If the platoon is designated as a reserve, it rehearses those actions as stated in the OPORD. As a minimum, briefback rehearsals are conducted with key leaders.

(14) The platoon begins movement to the platoon battle position.

b. Execution.

(1) The platoon stops at the last covered and concealed position before the platoon battle position.

(2) The platoon leader and squad leaders move forward to the battle position. They ensure there has been no change to the enemy situation. They clear the area and establish local security.

(3) The platoon leader assigns squad battle positions and sectors of fire, locations of the PEWS and the M8 chemical alarm, and positioning of key weapons systems.

(4) The platoon leader returns to the platoon and leads them to the platoon battle position. The squad leaders guide their squads into their squad battle positions. The squad leaders assign temporary positions and sectors of fire.

(5) The platoon leader coordinates for indirect fire.

(6) The platoon begins executing priorities of work.

(a) Establish security. As a minimum, each squad has one OP forward of its position during preparation of the defense.

(b) Position key weapons. The platoon leader positions the platoon’s key weapons and assigns them sectors of fire.

(c) Position squads. The platoon leader verities each squad’s position and assigns the squad a sector of fire. The squad leader assigns individual fighting positions and sectors of fire.

(d) Establish communications. As minimum, the platoon establishes a “hot loop” wire net.

(e) Coordinate with adjacent units. Each squad coordinates with the squad on its left ensuring all sectors of fire are interlocking and all dead space is covered by indirect fire.

(f) Clear fields of fire. Each position clears its sectors of fire.

(g) Prepare range cards. Each gunner prepares an original and one copy of the range card. The original copy remains with the weapon, and the copy is turned in to the squad leader.

(h) Prepare squad sector sketches. The squad leaders prepare an original and one copy of the sector sketch. The original remains in the squad CP, and the copy is turned in to the platoon leader. As a minimum, the squad sector sketch includes–

(i) Prepare platoon sector sketch. The platoon leader prepares an original and one copy of the sector sketch. The original remains in the platoon CP, and the copy is turned in to the company commander. As a minimum, the platoon sector sketch includes–

(j) Prepare fighting positions.

(k) Emplace minefields and obstacles. Prepare IAW the company or battalion obstacle plan.

(l) Establish fire control measures. Establish and mark all required fire control measures.

(m) Assign alternate and supplementary battle positions. The platoon leader assigns each squad and key weapons system an alternate and a supplementary battle position.

(n) Improve fighting positions.

(o) Prepare alternate and supplementary positions.

(p) Establish a rest plan.

(7) The platoon conducts a rehearsal.

(a) Movement from primary positions to alternate and supplementary position.

(b) Initial engagements at trigger lines and TRPs.

(c) Casualty evacuation.

(d) Any planned counterattacks.

(8) The platoon sergeant stockpiles additional Class I, V, and VIII.

(9) If time allows, communications trenches are dug between positions and CPs.

(10) As time allows, the platoon’s positions are continually improved.

c. React to Indirect Fire.

(1) When in defensive positions, soldiers seek the protection of their fighting positions. (Fighting positions require a minimum of 18 inches of overhead cover to provide protection from artillery rounds impacting nearby.)

(2) While moving or halted in unprotected positions, soldiers immediately assume prone positions. After the initial incoming rounds impact, the platoon leader determines the extent of the impact area (its length and width) and the nearest edge out of it (still heading roughly in the direction of travel, if possible). Then, he gives the direction and distance to move out of the impact area (for example, “Two o’clock, two hundred meters, follow me”).

(3) Leaders report and continue the mission.

NOTE: In some cases, the platoon may immediately don protective masks. If shells with other than an HE burst (for example, smoke) or if there is an indication of a chemical attack, the platoon should mask.

d. Consolidation.

(1) The platoon leader adjusts squad positions, if required, and reassigns sectors of fire. The squad leaders and team leaders adjust positions to cover assigned sectors of fire. The platoon leader adjusts crew-served weapons to cover most dangerous avenues of approach.

(2) The platoon leader positions OPs to provide security and early warning.

e. Reorganization.

(1) The platoon reestablishes the chain of command and fills key positions:

(a) Platoon leader, platoon sergeant, squad leaders, and team leaders.

(b) Key weapons: machine guns, M203s, antiarmor.

(2) The platoon establishes communications with the company commander, the adjacent units, the battalion FSO, and the squads.

(3) Leaders redistribute ammunition and equipment. The platoon leader receives ACE report from squad leaders. The platoon leader reports the status to the company commander and requests any supplies that are required. The platoon sergeant redistributes ammunition and equipment among the squads.

(4) The platoon evacuates casualties, handles all EPWs IAW the five S’s, and evacuates KIA.

(5) The platoon repairs fighting positions as required.








When directed to occupy an assembly area, the platoon leader designates a quartering party. Each squad will provide two men for the quartering party. The platoon sergeant or selected NCO will be in charge of the quartering party.

1. The quartering party reconnoiters the assembly area to ensure no enemy are present and to establish initial security.

2. The quartering party determines initial positions for all platoon elements.

3. The quartering party provides security by forcing enemy reconnaissance probes to withdraw and providing early warning of an enemy attack.

4. As the platoon clears the release point, quartering party members, waiting in covered and concealed positions, move out and guide the platoon to its initial position without halting.

5. The platoon establishes and maintains local security. The platoon leader assigns each squad a sector of the perimeter to ensure mutual support and to cover all gaps by observation and fire. The platoon leader designates OPs and squad leaders select OP personnel. OPs have communications with the platoon CP. OPs warn the platoon of enemy approach before the platoon is attacked.

6. The platoon leader establishes a priority of work, to include–

a. Positioning of crew-served weapons, chemical-agent alarms, and designating PDF, FPL, and FPFs.

b. Constructing individual and crew-served fighting positions.

c. Setting up wire communications between the squads and the platoon CP. (Radio silence is observed by the platoon.)

d. Preparing range cards.

e. Camouflaging positions.

f. Clearing fields of fire.

g. Distributing ammunition, rations, water, supplies, and special equipment.

h. Conducting preventative maintenance checks and services on weapons and equipment.

i. Preparing Dragon nightsight.

j. Inspection platoon members and equipment.

k. Rehearsing critical aspects of the upcoming mission.

l. Test firing small-arms weapons (if the tactical situation permits).

m. Conducting personal hygiene and field sanitation.

n. Instituting a rest plan.

o. Completing the work priorities as time permits.

7. The platoon leader conducts adjacent unit coordination. The platoon leader assigns security patrols, if applicable. The platoon leader establishes responsibility for overlapping enemy avenues of approach between adjacent squads and platoons. The leaders ensure there are no gaps between elements. The platoon leader exchanges information on OP locations and signals. The platoon leader coordinates local counterattacks.

8. The platoon leader forwards a copy of the sector sketch to the company.




1. REACT TO NUCLEAR ATTACK. All soldiers assigned to the platoon reacts to an unwarned nuclear attack by doing the following:

a. Immediately drop to a prone position and close their eyes. Turn their bodies so their heads face toward the blast. Place their thumbs into their ears. Cover their faces with their hands. Place their arms under their bodies. Tuck their heads down into their shoulders and keep their faces downward.

b. Remain in the prone position until the second blast wave passes, and the debris has stopped falling.

c. Check themselves and their buddies for injuries and damage to assigned equipment.

d. Give first aid to any casualties and prepare them for evacuation.

e. Report the situation to higher headquarters using the NBC 1 report.

2. REACT TO CHEMICAL ATTACK. All soldiers assigned to the platoon reacts to a chemical attack by doing the following:

a. Stop breathing.

b. Within 9 seconds, put on their protective masks.

c. Within an additional 6 seconds, pull their hoods over their heads.

d. Shout “Gas” and give the appropriate arm-and-hand signal.

3. UNMASKING PROCEDURES. Selected soldiers use the M256 kit to determine if the area is clear. If the area is clear, the platoon leader selects two soldiers and begins unmasking procedures. He moves the soldiers to a shady area and has the soldiers unmask for 5 minutes. He observes soldiers for 10 minutes. If no symptoms occur, he reports to higher headquarters; based on the response, he issues all clear. He continues to observe soldiers for delayed reactions.

4. HASTY DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES. The platoon leader ensures each soldier has one M258 personal decontamination kit. Each soldier decontaminates himself and his equipment IAW instruction on the M258 kit.

5. MOPP GEAR EXCHANGE. MOPP gear exchange is always conducted in buddy teams in the following sequence:




1. PASSIVE AIR DEFENSE. Passive air defense is always used. By using available cover and concealment, camouflage, and dispersion, the platoon avoids being detected from the air.

2. ACTIVE AIR DEFENSE. Once detected, the platoon leader decides, based on the weapons control status, if he uses active air defense. Active air defense is conducted in one of the following ways:

a. For a high-performance aircraft, soldiers aim at a point two football field lengths in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic. This makes the aircraft fly through a “wall” of bullets.

b. For a low-performance aircraft or a rotary aircraft, soldiers aim at a point half of a football field length in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic.

c. For any aircraft heading directly at the platoon, soldiers aim at a point directly above the nose of the aircraft and fire on automatic.




1. TARGETING. During mission planning, the platoon leader makes adjustments to the company’s indirect fire support plan. Possible targets include–

a. Known or suspected enemy locations not targeted by higher.

b. Dead space not covered by organic weapons.

c. Gaps between adjacent units not targeted by higher.

d. Likely mounted and dismounted avenues of approach and withdrawal.

e. Key terrain or obstacles not targeted by higher.


a. Duties and Responsibilities.

(1) The FO is the platoon’s link to the battalion fire support system.

(2) He assists the platoon leader in developing a platoon fire support plan that supports the platoon scheme of maneuver.

(3) He advises the platoon leader on the capabilities, limitations, and effects of the various types of available munitions.

(4) He continually updates the battalion FSO on his position and situation. ensuring the platoon is able to receive responsive fire support.

(5) He submits targets into the battalion fire support system and updates them as necessary throughout the mission.

b. Positioning. The position of the FO always depends on METT-T Generally, he moves as a member of the platoon headquarters. On rare occasions, the FO might be separated from the platoon leader. The FO must be readily available to the platoon leader, maintain communication with the battalion FSO, and be able to observe the battlefield.


a. Targets are planned in front of and on the objective to support the platoon’s approach, deployment, and assault during the attack.

b. Targets are planned beyond the objective to support the platoons consolidation and reorganization after the attack.

c. Targets are planned on all known or suspected enemy positions.

d. Targets are planned on likely enemy withdrawal and counterattack routes.

e. Targets are planned on key terrain features throughout the platoon area of operations.

f. Smoke is planned to obscure the platoon’s movement through or across danger areas.


a. Targets are planned on all known or suspected enemy positions.

b. Targets are planned along likely enemy avenues of approach.

c. Targets are planned in front of, on top of, and behind the platoon battle position.

d. An FPF is planned along the enemy’s most dangerous avenue of approach.

e. Smoke is planned to screen the platoons withdrawal to alternate or supplementary positions.

f. Illumination is planned BEHIND THE ENEMY. This exposes the enemy without exposing the platoon.


a. Before the start of any operation, the platoon leader ensures the FO knows the following:

(1) Target locations and descriptions.

(2) The effects required or purpose of the target.

(3) The priority of targets.

(4) Target engagement criteria.

(5) The method of engagement and control for the target.

(6) The location of all TRPs, trigger lines, and any other fire control measure used by the platoon leader.

6. CALL FOR FIRE. A call for fire is a message prepared by an observer. It has all the information needed to deliver indirect fires on the target. Any soldier in the platoon can request indirect fire support by use of the call for fire. Calls for fire must include–

a. Observer identification and warning order: adjust fire, fire for effect, suppress, immediate suppression (target identification).

b. Target location methods: grid, polar, shift from a known point.

c. Target description. A brief description of the target using the acronym SNAP is given: Size/shape, Nature/nomenclature, Activity, Protective/posture.





a. Fire control measures.

(1) Graphic measures.

(a) Boundaries or sectors. Divide areas of tactical responsibility between units.

(b) Battle positions. Defensive position oriented along likely enemy avenues of approach.

(c) Engagement areas. The area in which the leader intends to destroy the enemy.

(d) TRPs. TRPs are used to reference enemy locations. They can be man made or natural. TRPs must be easily identifiable.

(e) Maximum engagement lines. Imaginary line which identifies the point where a particular weapon system is engaging at its maximum effective range.

(f) Trigger lines. An imaginary line where, once the enemy crosses, friendly units can engage. Trigger Lines can be oriented to terrain, obstacles, TRPs, or maximum engagement lines.

(g) Phase lines. Imaginary line placed along identifiable terrain which is used to control movement or coordinate fires.

(h) Final protective fire. A preplanned barrier of both direct and indirect fire designed to prevent or disrupt the enemy assault.

(2) Rules of engagement. Rules of engagement are directives issued by military or political authorities that specify circumstances under which the platoon will initiate or continue combat operations. Rules of engagement will generally be issued with the company operations order. Ensure everyone understands ROE.

(3) Engagement priorities. Targets appear in random order at different times and locations throughout the battlefield. Engagement priorities allow the leader to designate which target he wants destroyed first. Engagement priorities are usually done by weapons systems.

(a) Antiarmor weapons systems. The platoon antiarmor weapons engage targets in the following priority:

(b) Platoon machine guns. Machine gunners should always attempt to engage at their maximum effective range and should strive for grazing fire. Machine guns have the following target priority:

(c) M203s. The grenadiers are used to cover the platoon’s dead space. The target priority for M203s is–

b. Fire Commands. Leaders use fire commands to direct the fires of the unit. A subsequent fire command adjusts or changes information given in the initial fire command. Only the elements that change are given. Fire is terminated by the command or signal for CEASE FIRE, END OF MISSION. A fire command has the following six parts.

(1) Alert. The leader can alert the soldiers by name or unit designation, by some type of visual or sound signal, by personal contact, or by any other practical way.

(2) Direction. The leader tells the soldiers the general direction or pinpoint location of the target.

(3) Description. The leader describes the target briefly but accurately. The formation of enemy soldiers is always given.

(4) Range. The leader tells the soldiers the range to the target in meters.

(5) Method of fire. The leader tells the soldiers which weapons to fire. He can also tell the type and amount of ammunition to fire, and the rate of fire.

(6) Command to fire. The leader tells soldiers when to fire. He can use an oral command, a sound or a visual signal. When he wants to control the exact moment of fire, he says AT MY COMMAND (then pauses until ready to commence firing). When he wants to start firing upon completion of the fire command, he just says FIRE.

c. Fire Control During Limited Visibility. During limited visibility, leaders ensure that the platoon’s fires are controlled. To do this, they can use aiming stakes, T&Es for all machine guns, illumination, TRPs, and night vision devices.

2. FIRE DISTRIBUTION. The two methods of fire distribution are point fire and area fire.

a. Point Fire. The platoon’s fires are directed at one target. The platoon leader accomplishes this by marking the desired target with tracer fire or by M203 file.

b. Area Fire. The platoon’s fires cover an area from left to right and in depth. The platoon leader accomplishes this four ways.

(1) Frontal fire. Frontal fire is used when the enemy is moving perpendicular to the platoons direction of fire. Each squad engages the targets to their immediate front. As targets are destroyed, fires are shifted toward the center of the enemy.

(2) Cross fire. Cross fire is used when the enemy is moving perpendicular to the platoon’s direction of fire and terrain does not allow frontal fire. It is also used when the enemy is moving oblique to the platoons direction of fire. When using cross fire, squads engage targets from left to right or from right to left depending on their location.

(3) Depth fire. Depth fire is used when the enemy is moving parallel to the platoon’s direction of fire. Squads engage targets from front to rear or from rear to front. As targets are destroyed, fires are shifted toward the center of the enemy.

(4) Combination. Depending on the METT-T, the platoon may use any combination of the above techniques.





a. Camouflage. All soldiers use camouflage paint to cover exposed skin. The outline of an individual is broken using vegetation, burlap, or any other available means. Fighting positions arc camouflaged using all exposed dirt to breakup the outline of a position. The position is checked from the enemy’s view. Equipment is camouflaged using vegetation to break up the outline of the equipment and to cover all reflective surfaces.

b. Protection. Fighting positions have 18 inches of overhead. Helmets are worn during tactical operations.

c. Concealment. In order to avoid detection, soldiers operate using terrain and vegetation.


a. Positioning. OPs always contain a minimum of two soldiers and have communication with the platoon headquarters (land line, FM, or signaling device). OPs are positioned IAW METT-T Routes to and from the OP are recorded and rehearsed. Each member of the OP is thoroughly briefed on the rules of engagement before departing for their post. Signals for the return of OPs (running password, challenge/password, light signals) will be established and briefed to all platoon personnel.

b. Relief of OPs. When an OP is relieved, the relieving personnel meet with the current OPs and receive a briefing that contains, as a minimum:

3. STAND-TO. A stand-to will be conducted 30 minutes before dawn and 30 minutes after sunset.

a. Team leaders and squad leaders check every individual soldier to ensure he is awake and alert, to ensure his equipment is packed in his rucksack, and to ensure he is observing his sector in his assigned fighting position.

b. Team leaders and squad leaders gather sensitive items report and weapons operational status, and passes the report to the platoon sergeant.

c. The platoon sergeant gathers the reports, spot checks squad position, and passes the reports to platoon leader.

d. The platoon leader reports to higher headquarters, spot checks squad and crew-served weapon positions.


a. During preparation for combat, each platoon conducts final inspections. Shortcomings in noise discipline are identified. Clanking, rattling, and so forth, is subdued by the use of tape or cloth as required.

b. When lights are necessary for planning or map reading, a poncho is used to conceal them.

c. Cigarettes and cooking fires are not lit during daylight or darkness without permission of the company commander, or the leader of an independent element.

d. Nonverbal means of communication are used to the maximum extent possible.

e. During stationary operations, trash is collected and backhauled during logistics runs. If this is not practical (and in all other operations), soldiers carry trash until it can be disposed of securely (it is not buried or hidden unless specifically authorized).




1. SOLDIER’S LOAD. Determining the soldier’s load is a critical leader task. The soldier’s load is always METT-T dependent and must be closely monitored. Soldiers cannot afford to carry unnecessary equipment into the battle. Every contingency cannot be covered. The primary consideration is not how much a soldier can carry, but how much he can carry without impaired combat effectiveness.

a. Combat Load. The mission-essential equipment, as determined by the commander responsible for carrying out the mission, required for soldiers to fight and survive immediate combat operations. When possible, a soldier’s combat load should not exceed 60 pounds. There are two components:

(1) Fighting load (the essential items needed to fight) includes bayonet, weapons, clothing, helmet, and LBE and ammunition. Items will be added or deleted based on METT-T and other factors.



Weight (Pounds)


Helmet, ballistic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4

Pistol belt, suspenders, and first-aid pouch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.6

Canteen, 1-quart, and cover with water (2 each). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.6

Case, small-arms (2 each). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.8

Bayonet with scabbard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3

Protective mask with decontamination kit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.0

Rifle, M16A2 with 30 rounds 5.56 Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.8

Magazines (6) with 180 rounds of 5.56-mm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4

Grenade, fragmentation (4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0





Total   34.9


(2) Approach march load includes those items that are needed for extended operations. These are dropped in an assault position, ORP, or other points befor or on enemy contact. Items may be added or deleted from this list based on METT-T and other factors.


Weight (Pounds)

ALICE, medium with frame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.3

Rations, MRE (2 each) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6

Canteen, 2-quart, and cover with water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8

Toilet articles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.0

Towel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.2

Bag, waterproof. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8

E-tool with carrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5

Poncho, nylon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3

Liner, poncho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.6





Total 22.1


NOTE: This list keeps the “droppable” rucksack load under 30 pounds and the overall combat load under 60 pounds.

b. Sustainment Load. The remaining equipment and materials needed for sustained combat operations must be carried by company and battalion assets.

c. Load Management Techniques. The leader decides, based on METT-T what will be carried in rucksack and what will be carried within immediate reach of soldier.

(1) Soldiers distribute loads evenly over body and LBE.

(2) Nothing is carried on the front side of the LBE that prevents the soldiers from taking well-aimed shots.

(3) Distribute loads throughout the platoon.

(4) Rotate heavy loads among several soldiers.

(5) Always consider transportation assets to carry loads.

(6) Drop rucksacks on enemy contact, or leave them in an ORP, an assault position, or the assembly area.

(7) Share or consolidate items.

(8) Consider carrying fewer rations for short operations.

(9) While carrying rucksacks, use water and rations carried in it first. After rucksacks have been dropped, soldiers will still have a full supply on their LBE.

NOTE: Items common to everyone’s load are located in the same place.

2. SUPPLY. Policies and procedures are applied for supply requests and resupply operations. CSS operations are driven by the tactical setting for the infantry platoon. Resupply operations arc planned in advance so as to not interfere with combat operations. The team leader and squad leader implement CSS by inspecting their soldiers for shortages and shortcomings in equipment and supplies. once the squads have compiled their lists, they report their status to the platoon sergeant who in turn reports his status to the company XO. To standardize resupply operations, requests are submitted to the company XO for resupply.

a. Requests for Resupply. During the reorganization phase of combat operations, the squad leader, within 10 minutes, must access his squad’s status of ammunition, equipment, food and water, and submit his report to the platoon sergeant. Any time a weapon is fired by a soldier, the resupply system begins to work to prevent soldiers from being without ammunition and equipment. The system will not wait for minimum allocations, but it will be aggressive to anticipate future demands.

b. Priority of Resupply. Class V, ammunition; Class VII, weapons systems; Class IX, repair parts; Class VIII, medical supplies; and Class I, food and water.

3. MAINTENANCE. All weapons systems and equipment are cleaned by the user and inspected by squad leaders.

a. Priority for Cleaning and Maintenance. The priority is mission and situational dependent but will normally be antiarmor, crew-served weapons, and individual weapons.

b. Stand-Down for Maintenance. Stand-down occurs by having no more than 50 percent of the antiarmor and crew-served weapons at any time out of actions for maintenance. The rest of the squads’ small-arms weapons will stand-down at no more than 33 percent at one time.

c. PMCS Requirements. All weapons systems and equipment receive an operator’s cleaning inspection.

d. Evacuation Responsibilities and Procedures. Once the soldier completes the inspection of his weapons system, the squad leader verifies the work, and if a problem occurs, the squad leader fixes it or informs the platoon sergeant of the problem. The platoon sergeant then consolidates all of the maintenance requests, and informs the company XO during scheduled resupply. The XO evacuates the weapons and equipment to the battalion trains. The XO makes arrangement for a float from higher support.


a. Strength Reports. The platoon’s strength is reported at least twice daily on a secure net or land line from the platoon battle roster.

b. Replacements. Care should be taken when integrating new soldiers into the platoon. They are briefed by their entire chain of command. Their equipment is inspected by their squad leader, and any problems that have surfaced during in-processing are immediately remedied. Squad leaders explain the current situation and inform new soldiers of their duties and SOPs.

c. EPWs and Civilian Internees and Detainees. All EPWs and civilians are handled IAW with international law. The platoon sergeant monitors all activities dealing with EPWs and civilian internees and detainees. He ensures that they are searched, segregated, silenced, safeguarded and sped to the rear. He is in charge of providing their medical treatment and their physical security. In addition, he assigns a team or squad to help with this mission, and to help maintain control throughout this process.


a. Medical Evacuation. Each platoon contains at least one MOS qualified aidman. Every effort is made to train as many personnel as possible as combat lifesavers. However, their primary skills areas infantrymen not aidmen. Each squad appoints one man as an assistant aidman to help the platoon aid man with treatment of the casualties. The platoon sergeant coordinates with the platoon aidman and squad leaders for the location of the casualty collection point. The squad’s chain of command is responsible for evacuating their troops to the location. Once the mode of evacuation has been established, the platoon sergeant secures the casualties’ weapons, equipment, and ammunition and cross levels them, if need be. Requests for medical evacuation is handled by the platoon sergeant and routine sick is handled by the platoon aidman. Priority categories for medical evacuation are urgent, urgent surgical, priority, routine, and convenience.

b. Field Sanitation. Field latrines are dug at least 100 meters from platoon positions, if the tactical situation permits. If not, the trench is constructed within the platoon perimeter. The trench is constructed under the supervision of the platoon aidman. The only water to be consumed by soldiers should be potable or treated water. If located near a stream, the latrine is constructed downstream from the platoon’s positions.